Very cold temperatures have settled in across Wisconsin this week, and that means taking precautions if you’re spending any time outdoors. Andrew Becket with Wisconsin Emergency Management explains the signs of hypothermia.
“With hypothermia, you should be looking for signs like excessive shivering, exhaustion, confusion, slurred speech. If you start to experience things like that or notice that in anyone who’s around you, you should contact 911 or your medical provider as soon as possible.”
Along with hypothermia, Beckett said frostbite is a real possibility during extreme cold weather.
“With frostbite, skin that looks white or grayish yellow, feels unnaturally firm or waxy. If you have general numbness or extreme numbness, you should detect those symptoms and get to a warm area. Don’t try to rub vigorously or anything, it can cause more damage.”
If you must be outdoors, make sure you’re dressed appropriately.
“Wear loose fitting layers, a hat, gloves, snow boots, make sure you have a scarf or something to cover your face,” Beckett said. “You want to limit the amount of exposed skin as much as possible, because that’s really where you’re going to get into trouble, is exposing that skin to the elements and the extreme cold, especially with those wind chills that could be in excess of 30 below zero.”
You can find a comprehensive list of cold weather safety recommendations at dma.wi.gov.